Traffic for 2011 August

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one night in Bangkok: We flew all day to get to Bangkok. First we had to get up around 6 am to get to the airport and fly domestic to Mumbai. Our first glitch came at check in, when they informed us our carry on luggage was too heavy. We had two small suitcases and two backpacks for 3 seats. That seems fine to me. So we put all the heavy stuff in our backpacks, since they don't weigh those, threw a small fit, and then they allowed us not to check anything. Flight was late so we only had a two-hour layover in Mumbai. Once there, we were shuttled from the domestic terminal to the international terminal. That took about an hour. Then immigration, security again, and made it to our flight just in time for boarding.

The second plane to Bangkok was weird. No first class. We were on the second row, which was nice. The plane was overloaded with white people; I haven't seen so many in months, eight to be exact. This flight seemed to last forever, even if it was only 4.5 hours. I tried to watch teevee, but I couldn't get the gist of the channels. I did manage to watch an old school season 1 Simpsons episode and also struggled through an episode of some show called "How I met your mother." Susie watched some Bollywood flik.

Finally in Bangkok at dusk. They have these odd escalators that take you halfway down a level, level out for about 20 paces, then continue on down again. The airport is huge and we got lost, but managed to find a Dunkin Donuts for some much needed sustenance before our trek into town.

Susie and I have been trying to decide what aspects of Bangkok are similar to the Kong, India, Malaysia, and distinct to Thailand itself. On first blush the city seemed like India: the taxis are green and yellow like an auto in India, and they also paint the curbs black and white here. But the comparison quickly ended. Unlike India, Bangkok has FREEWAYS! Without potholes! Without speedbumps! And people have lane discipline. And people don't honk their horns. Amazing!

We got to our hotel around 8:30 and checked in and couldn't have been happier. The hotel is in the middle of the shopping district, next to the Skytrain, had carpet, a couch for Maggie to sleep on, a cot for Dalton, lots of space, and a bathtub! Which I used every night! The bed was hard as a rock but that's Asia. We were on the 9th floor and enjoyed a decent view.

Other observations of the first night include the fact that Thai people love our kids, just like Indians, but they also have a sense of decorum and personal space and normally admired from a small distance. Which the kids seemed to appreciate. Also, the autos here are more open air than in India, are bigger, and MUCH more colorful. It seems the auto (or tuk tuk) driver can color his auto however he wishes. Which is normally in bright, fluorescent colors, pink being the primary one used. That is a distinct Thai feature.

One night in Bangkok leaves you wondering what took you so long to come.

two nights in Bangkok: That first day we slept until about 9 am then ventured out to hit the malls surrounding us. Literally a ring of malls connected by covered elevated walkways all the way around our hotel. The Paragon wants for nothing. Though the actual shopping stores were not to our tastes, the food court is divine. Burger King, McD's, Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donuts, Famous Amos, Mexican food!, Asian food, gelato gelato gelato, Italian, Tony Roma's, Japanese, and a huge Supermarket with everything. Problem with the supermarket is all the imported stuff was so expensive. That first day we ate Mexican food (fish tacos for me!) and I had gelato while Susie had a Cinnabon.

The bottom two floors of the mall are an aquarium so we went there with the kids. Our ticket included a fish spa experience that was so much fun. I went with Maggie and it those little fish sure do tickle as they nibble on your skin. I enjoyed that. We also fed shrimp to fish and sharks on a glass bottom boat. That night we went swimming and then Susie went exploring the night life while I put the kids to bed.

We were shivering in the pool at night. I did not expect to be COLD in Bangkok in July. Once again, the people were all so polite and kind to the kids. And there were more white people in the mall alone than in all of India. At the Mexican restaurant, for example, the group next to us was from Huntington Beach. They were here modelling and were deciding if they were willing to be topless in some of the shots later that day. That side of Bangkok seems particularly Thai; India is much more conservative in that respect.

Two nights in Bangkok make you want to move there!

three nights in Bangkok: Today we had a tour up to Siam, the ancient capital of Thailand. The drive was a nice chance to see the city and the countryside both, but it was awfully early in the morning. We had to wake the kids up and paid the price for that all day. The chocolate milk for 7-11helped; we can't get that here. 7-11 is also huge in the Kong, but I haven't seen one in India. Apparently 7-11 is huger in Bangkok than even back in the states.

What a beautiful country. No trash anywhere. And lots of stand alone houses. I think the people here (and country as a whole) has more money than India to support infrastructure. Having a better tourist policy than India probably helps, as that brings in more money.

The summer palace was wonderful! Topiaries, grass, water monitors, peace and quiet. The Chinese influence here was huge. Another Chinese influence is that almost all signs are in Chinese and Thai, with some also in English.

Onto some ruins, then a lunch boat ride back into Bangkok. The river into Bangkok was very relaxing. When we passed under bridges, you could reach up and touch the bridges. Not a lot of clearance space indeed. The food on the boat was absolutely amazing. I'm told it's not real Thai food as that would be too spicy anyhow. The kids rode a regal elephant all dressed to the nines also. Once again, the Thais know how to cater to the foreigners better. The elephants are bigger than in India here.

Dinner this night was pretzel dogs and cinnamon sugar pretzels. I was doing my very best to not overindulge at all the choices I don't have here in India.

Three nights in Bangkok leaves you dizzy and exhausted. It's a lot to take in.

four nights in Bangkok: Today we hit the Safari and Ocean Park. It rained all day but we wore hats, bought an umbrella, and survived. It really turns the humidity up a notch when it rains, and our rain coats were useless as they were too uncomfortable in that kind of humidity.

The kids LOVED the safari. Camels coming to our car window even. We got to feed giraffes, which was totally awesome, and also fed some parakeets. They also have baby tiger cubs you can feed but they were napping when we were there. Since the cubs were asleep in their unlocked cages, Maggie and I reached in and petted them. A little scary, I must admit, but also totally awesome. This zoo really let us get up close to the animals.

Today's cuisine was Mos Hamburgers (a Japanese chain but I just waned a non-McD's hamburger) and it was good. We hit Dunkin Donuts because it's half the price as Krispy Kreme without a 10 minute line. People here sure love Krispy Kreme. It's always packed. We also bought some food items to bring home, mostly some Campbell's soup and saltine crackers, things we can't get here that weren't insane price wise. They had raspberries and I was so tempted but it was $10 for a small box.

We found another mall that had touristy stuff and bought some paintings and Thai t-shirts here.

I think the country is most like Malaysia, which makes sense as they are border countries. Lush, green, wet, humid.

Four nights in Bangkok makes you seriously consider an office transfer, but only when you are safe out of the humidity.

[Comments] (1) all good things coming to an end: Before our flight last night we hit Lumphini Park in the rain, then did some shopping, had one last fix of good food (guacamole and chips!) then it was back to the airport. We rode the SkyTrain to the park and everyone is so polite and lets people get off the train before getting on, and people also helped us buy our tickets correctly. Friendly people; you don't see that on the subway in the Kong. Thailand confiscated our sunscreen and toothpaste, even though India let us bring it into the country. I'm not sure how all these different types of security procedures work. To leave America I have to take off my shoes and belt but to get back in I don't have to, for example. So what's the point? For whose benefit do I do all this?

We flew to Calcutta in clouds that thinned just as we hit the Mouth of the Ganges. It was beautiful. Calcutta required us to deplane, ride a shuttle 20 paces to the international terminal, get reinstated in India, go outside and walk 5 minutes in horrid humidity to the domestic terminal, check back in (they tried to take my Chicken Noodle soup but I held firm) only to take a shuttle back to the same plane I just got off of! Seriously! Our seats were the same row but opposite side of the plane. What an experience.

Calcutta wasn't as horrid an airport as I'd heard tell. It's nicer than Goa, but the fire alarm was going off the whole time we were there. Being on the same plane and all, the service changed as we were now on a "cheap" Kinfisher leg. So even though the first leg had blankets, pillows, wet wipes, and teevees, and it was the same plane, they discontinued all these for the cheap flight. What a joke.

We flew to Hyderabad for a 30-minute layover but stayed on the plane while the kids slept. Then home to Bangalore and went to bed around midnight.

It was night and day difference being back in India. Everyone on the plane was grabbing the kids and so they were screaming. And people on the airplane were pushing and shoving in line to get off the plane, not waiting for the seatbelt light to go off, pushing and shoving through immigration, etc. I've been told we value least what we have most, and since what India has most is people, there is no value in being polite on an airplane. It's an interesting culture.

Now it's busy season but we head to Kerala, the southern tip of India, for Susie's BD in Sept and then onto Dubai for Dalton's BD in October, then we'll be heading home. Time flies when you fly.

[Comments] (2) wishful drinking: I was just reminiscing about Bangkok and telling a coworker about the fabulous pumpkin pie you can get there! It reminded me of the Mexican restaurant with the bakery next door. That bakery made the must beautiful, albeit disgusting, cakes. Most were pure frosting/fudge and one was a scene of dinosaurs. Maggie LOVED it! The whole time we ate she just sat there and stared at it. But never once did she demand a dinosaur cake. Just to look at it only.

I'm hopeful that Maggie is growing up without a sense of entitlement. She has never really begged for anything. She even wanted a scooter last Christmas and didn't get one, because a scooter on India's sorry excuse for sidewalks would have been disastrous. She didn't care. There could be many reasons for this I suppose.

1. It's possible that she realizes how spoiled she already is. After all, we were in the Siam Paragon, only the most fabulous place in all of Bangkok. In Thailand. Though I doubt many people think this way. After all, how many kids cry at Disneyland because they didn't get a balloon to hold on the teacups?

2. Maggie's personality is to want for nothing. Looking was good enough. That cake wouldn't taste good anyway, we couldn't take it home with us, and it would go straight to her thighs. This is possible.

3. We've raised her well to understand not to demand everything she sees. I've heard of kids crying over bed sheets, of all things, and she's just not like that because we've taught her not to be like that.

4. It's possible she's still too young to realize we can buy anything we want at the store; all we have to do it put it in our cart and it's ours. Same with Christmas. We decided the kids each get two gifts only; one from Santa, and one from mom and dad. I wonder how old she'll be before she realize most kids get many more gifts and whether or not she'll expect some many ala Dudley Dursley.

I wonder which is true. And I wonder how Dalton will be in this respect. That may help us rule out point 3.

Jodi gets here in two days! Yay for Susie to have a travelling companion!

UPDATE: The new-fangled Delta flight shows her plane is currently over Nebraska! Woot for real time information!

[Comments] (1) happiness is: This last week has been amazing. Not only is my sister here visiting us for ten days, but she brought an entire suitcase full of pop-tarts, wheat thins, colby jack cheese, candy bars, fruit snacks, dental floss, Instant Breakfast, and toys for the kids! It appears that TSA went through all the candy to make sure it wasn't a front for a bomb, and two bags of candy went missing. But otherwise it's all here!

I spent TH morning catching up on the haps back home (mostly same old it seems) then they all took off for Mysore, wherein I am told they procured the much-anticipated elephant and camel ride. Today they are at Wonder-la. I've been playing the role of bachelor #2 the past few days and am loving it. The peace and quiet and freedom have been nice, but I'll be excited for everyone to return home this evening.

Work has been great too. I've been super busy but having another coach has at least kept things at a tolerable level of insanity. And I've been bringing my own lunches to work and eating in the break room with my Indian co-workers, which has also been way better than the usual trying to find the US co-workers that never invite me to lunch. The conversations have been fun and they are always interested in what I'm eating, since I take western food to lunch. They mostly think I eat salad but yesterday I took in meat pies and Colby cheese and wheat thins to shake it up a bit. I also took in all the extra muffins we have here for them to try.

I also got my raise this week, even though raises don't go into effect until October. It's higher than I had hoped so that's always nice. And I got yet another bonus, quite substantial this time. It always feels nice to be appreciated for what you do and to have people tell you they think you have a bright future.

This morning I am going to get a massage, then may or may not go into work, depending how many people show up. It's a long 3-day weekend, as Monday is Indian Independence day. Yesterday they played the anthem in Bengali at work and I sparked a whole controversy because I asked what it was about and a lot of people didn't know. I asked what they learn in school if not their own anthem. I'm still curious as to what they learn in schools here, actually.

It's been a good week, and next week should be nice too, considering it's a short week and Jodi will still be here exploring.

middle management: What a riotous 24 hours it's been.

My work computer died on Saturday and, due to the long weekend for India Independence Day, no one was in to fix it. So I held onto it until yesterday. They made me try logging in again and again and again for an hour before they believed me I needed a new hard drive. Then the reconfigured it with the wrong user name so, after sitting around all day waiting, I finally was turned away empty handed. Hopefully today I can finally get back to what they pay me to do, but it's out of my hands.

Then I had to spend the day making difficult decisions about performance issues. Not a fun part of the job. It's the same reason I don't like recruiting. I feel unworthy to make life-changing choices for other people, like who gets a job and who doesn't.

I also had to walk to work yesterday because my driver can't manage to get here on time very often. It was hot, humid, dodging traffic was like playing frogger with my life, and the streets were rivers from the rain. I arrived at work hot and bothered and extremely annoyed.

Last night I became a single dad while the gals headed to Hampi. Maggie seems to finally be feeling better but, just as I lay my head on my pillow, I heard a noise in the crib. Dalton vomited all over his pajamas, his face, his elephant, his crib, and in his hair. I hosed him off, started a load of laundry, got rid of the smell, and put him in bed with me since the crib was no longer usable. I spent the night wedged between two kids taking up more space than they needed and constantly had to rescue Dalton, who kept wedging himself between the crib and the bed. I got no sleep at all.

Since Maggie has been asleep for three straight days, she woke up at 6 am, woke up Dalton, and the day began before it should have.

I may not survive the next 48 hours until they return.

BOGO: On Independence Day I took Jodi to Big Bazaar, the Wal-Mart of India, where everything was on sale. Jodi tried on about 30 outfits, which was unique for me, since normally Susie doesn't try on anything. We ended up buying on thing she tried on! Due to the holiday, we were able to find a bunch of T-shirts advertising India and bought a bunch of them. I also helped her find clothes for Franco and Kyli. We were there about 3 hours and it felt like Black Friday. I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

We also bought some Indian flags and attended our complex flag-raising ceremony. I also took Jodi to lunch at Sunny's, which was out of blueberry creme brulee. But we all had burgers, which are amazing here. They marinade them in Italian Dressing or something akin. I haven't had beef since Bangkok so I was craving it.

Indians love fireworks but not on Independence Day, just on the other holidays. I suppose that is because their independence was won peacefully so there is no need to replicate a rocket's red glare.

[Comments] (2) nanny wars: Today Kannagi showed up at quarter to 11 to relieve me of fatherhood. Dalton was so thrilled to see her he didn't care that I was going to work. Maggie, however, begged me not to go. This from the girl that also told me yesterday I should go to Hampi and mommy should stay home with her. I guess I'm her second favorite only.

Kannagi called me an hour later because she couldn't understand Maggie. When Maggie is not understandable, she hyperventilates, cries, and becomes even more difficult to understand. But after Maggie trying three different times to talk to me over the phone, I finally realized she simply wanted a hot dog.

Jus Booster was out of large cups (and refused to make me a large anyway out of a two small cups) and was out of acai, so I told them to pound sand and unfortunately was left eating lunch at the golden arches. Tomorrow I'll hopefully have more time to bring a lunch. Why even bother opening if you are out of everything?

To do list includes buying fuzzy drinks (ie 7 Up) on the way home for two sick kiddos and to hopefully squeeze in an episode of Glee as well.

Maggie first informed me she will feel better when Jesus comes, but updated it today to when we go back to UT. She also told me Heavenly Father doesn't let us drink tea today when Minnie was organizing a tea, biscuit, and dog biscuit party on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

[Comments] (2) little rascals: It's been a rough few days for the kids. Since Susie and Jodi took off Tuesday night, Maggie had a hard time being with the nanny during the day when I went to work. Thursday in particular was a hard day. I took leftovers to work for lunch and around 3 pm I could tell my tummy was not happy. Something was wrong, and that something was the Indian food inside me.

I got home around 5:30, just as the maid was calling. Maggie refused to come out of her room. She has been sick lately and still has the runs, and went in her pants, and would not let Kannagi clean it up, so I got the honors the moment I walked in the door. I put a towel under Maggie, took off her clothes, and decided the hell with the mess and threw all soiled articles in the outisde dumpster. The maid left and Maggie fell asleep on me. Then it was my turn.

With Maggie asleep, I quickly put a diaper on her for the night to avoid future trauma, threw away the leftovers before anyone else became an unfortunate victim, and waited to throw up. I knew it was coming. I could tell the food in my tummy was not sitting well. I even tried to induce it myself. I lost all energy and collasped on the bed. There was a show on the teevee so I assumed Dalton would be fine for a few hours. He eventually came looking for me. The sheer act of sitting up finally set off the vomitting. Each hurl made Dalton shriek; it really scared him. He finally fell asleep on the bed with me, and I dutifully got up every two hours to either vomit or have the runs. And all this as a single parent! This is the final straw and I am now officially done with the food here. Nothing but pop-tarts and cereal for me for the next two months.

The next morning I felt much better, having finally purged my body of the poisoned food. I went to work for a few hours and also worked today while the family went to the zoo. It was pretty nice at work, only about five of us there, but still plenty noisy as people here have no issue blasting Bollywood. But I only had to answer four questions in six hours so that left me with plenty of time to review a tax return today.

Another Indian quirk is only ticketed passengers are allowed in the airport. So I had to take Jodi to an internet cafe to print her receipt to get in the airport tonight. Dalton wanted to come. While we were gone, a monkey came in our house and stole our muffins and goldfish, all in tupperware, and wiped his grubby little handses all over the place. I'm told it was quite the bru-hah-ha. Maggie seemed most upset that he ate our food. Our kitchen door doesn't lock so I invented my own lock and we'll see how monkey proof it is. See. Even the monkey wants to eat only pop-tarts and cereal.

I feel like Alfalfa when he exclaims that God must hate him. But I guess if God lives inside of me, like Jack Handy thinks, then he also got food poisoning.

One day we'll laugh at all of this. But it's not gonna be today, and it's not gonna be tomorrow, and it's probably not going to be this year.

but the cat came back, the very next day: I went running this evening and apparently the monkey came back, ripped up our trash, got no love from us, and left. Dalton missed the action yesterday but was terrified today. I once again missed it as I was at the gym. But I went looking for the monkey and found him in the wing adjacent to ours, going up each level, trying to get in people's houses. He stopped for a really long time at one window and was successful at pushing it open so I went over to the apartment and told them there was a monkey about to jump into their kitchen. Hopefully the buzz is getting around and someone will figure out how to get rid of the thing. Susie wants to move.

We are becoming popular at church. The First Counselor would like piano lessons for his daughter (has keyboard, willing to travel) and I was asked to teach YM & EQ both next week. I told the powers that be to fight it out and let me know. I'd rather teach YM honestly. That is my calling after all. I taught today which usually entitles me to a bye week but I guess not this time. As far as piano goes, I think they know as long as they make it easy on us we will accommodate. I quit teaching at the church because I went all the way there and no one was showing up. Now at least they come to us so if they don't show, it's no skin off our backs.

Work is really picking up, but the good news is we have less than a month until the Big Day. The busy seasons are more compacted here and I actually like it more and will miss that when I go home. Sometimes at home it can be hard to tell when busy season ends and begins but here it's more distinct which I think leads to more personal flexibility. And really it's not as busy here either. The weekend shift was extremely calm for me.

[Comments] (2) trousers: The men here wear form-fitting trousers. Sometimes so form fitting I can see an underwear line. I don't think I could pull off the look quite as well as they do. I certainly don't have a curvaceous behind like most of them do. But it works for them. A lot of my coworkers are quite thin and it's also not uncommon to see their belt wrap around their pants 1.5 times over. Either that or they really just make belts one size fits all here. I also don't think I'd like dealing with such a large belt all of the time.

Maggie says we are going to Gond tomorrow on a Toucan airplane, which I guess is her version of Bangkok on a Kingfisher airplane. I tried to tell her we can't go because I didn't buy tickets but she insists we can buy them at the airport. I hope she's not too disappointed tomorrow when I trot off to work, just like any other day, and she stays home and plays toys, just like any other day. But we are going on a trip in just 3 weeks. After our tax filing deadline. Assuming I survive until then.

[Comments] (3) there and back again: Maggie has been counting down the days until we visit Gond, a make believe world combining the best of India (slim pickings I know, but mainly Goa), Hong Kong, Bangkok, and pictures she has seen of our upcoming trip to Dubai. Today we hit zero and she wanted to pack a bag full of dinosaurs.

We filled a suitcase with stuffed animals and I took the kids up to floor 10 of our building while Susie frantically decorated the house. I contributed by drawing a picture of a Toucan for the plane, since apparently we've worn out our welcome on Kingfisher.

So we ate a treat upstairs, looked out the window like we were on a plane, and headed back downstairs to find a note on the door welcoming us to Gond.

Apparently in Gond you can go on a dino hunt. Gond also has Cheetos (imported from Bangkok) and strawberry marshmellows (also imported from Bangkok). It's hard to know the exact location and origin of Gond. It's been rumored Gond derives from Gondola, which is a combination of a fun ride we went on in the Kong to see the Big Buddha and also is the full version of the now-shortened Goa, a Portuguese beach enclave on the sands of the Arabian Sea. When traders first discovered the area is still in dispute, and the current location is rumored to be somewhere between the Bermuda Triangle, the ancient city of Atlantis, and Springfield a la the Simpsons (not to be confused with any actually-known Springfield that can be viewed on a map).

We leave for Dubai in less than six weeks now, and I think Maggie will be pleased with the place. It appears to have EVERYTHING Gond has and more. And Kerala will be a nice jaunt on a houseboat, which is now less than a month away. But in the meantime, we do what we can.

I wonder what Maggie would have thought had we actually gotten in the car with a suitcase, driven to the airport, and gone somewhere. I have to think she knew all along this was all in her head, but kids sure do have a way of hoping against hope sometimes.

This reminds me of the time Susie's family all packed up and went to Mars, which appears to be somewhere between LaMont and the Grapevine, and included a rocket ship ride in a 90's van covered with orbs and star stickers. The jury is still undecided on how successful that trip was, if I recall correctly. But we only get one shot at childhood so it's important to me my kids get to live it up!

[Comments] (1) taking it to the mattresses: Susie and I watched the final episode of the Golden Girls the other day and Susie wondered about the ending. I told her it's because Dorothy wanted off the show but the rest wanted to keep going so that's why they married her off and ended it that way. This led to a discussion of spin offs and sequels.

We couldn't really think of any successful spin offs other than Frasier, spun off from Cheers. But it's entirely possible there are other successful ones we aren't aware are spin offs. Then we got to talking about sequels, like the Godfather, which every man alive loves to quote and which I actually haven't seen. Any of them. Shame on me, I know.

So. Taking it to the mattresses. Our mattress here is the pits. It's horrible. I'm tempted to start sleeping on the hard tiled floors. I think in my life I have only slept on one bed that was worse. It was in Mysore. So I wake up grumpy every day because of this. And because of Dalton's lovely pre-7 am wake up calls.

So today my driver was late. Again. He doesn't tell me he'll be late until he's supposed to be here. Normally he sends another EY driver sitting across the street at work doing nothing to come and get me, but the last two times I've had to wait 15+ minutes downstairs in the heat for him to come. So today I walked. Then I called Sandeep and told him the next time I walk to work is the last day of his employment with me. I probably should have had this conversation with him long ago. But better late than never.

He kept saying sorry sir on the phone to me and I didn't know how to respond. He should be sorry. It's not ok, so that obligatory phrase was of no use to me. I really just wanted to tell him to show me he's sorry rather than tell me by being on time going forward. But TII.

This happened to Susie on Sunday as well. The First Counsellor in the Branch Presidency wants his daughter to learn piano. Have keyboard, will travel, he said. We arranged for 5 pm Friday's at our house. At least then it's the least amount of work for us since not one person has yet to offer to PAY us for our time here giving lessons. I'm sure you can guess the ending. Never showed. Never called. Sunday he apologized. Again, we didn't know what to say. We didn't want to say "It's ok" because it's not. It's rude actually. But we also really don't care about his daughter's piano career since we're leaving in nine weeks. So what is the appropriate phrase here?

In all fairness, some success stories from the last few days include: I taught EQ on Sunday. It went GREAT! The class participated a lot and so I didn't have to do much.

Our internet died last TH night. TII. Friday morning we called Airtel, who told us in very plain English someone would come to the house by 2:30 pm. And they did! And they fixed it! Amazing, considering we are still missing a light fixture the grinch took to fix since it wouldn't light on one side. That was months ago yet we still stare at a hole in the wall. Kudos Airtel! US customer service for the first time in nine months!

Happy Ramzan: What a full day! Said day began with me going to Big Bazaar at the appointed opening time, 10 am, for my prepaid pedicure, only to leave 10:30 grumpy and empty-handed. I got a call at 11 asking where I went. I said I have to be at work at 11:30 so I had to leave. THEY had the audacity to be upset with ME. If you don't want to open at 10, then don't. The sales guy tried to tell me that the pedicurist was caught in traffic but that's a total lie. Today is a holiday here, Ramzan, the last day of Ramadan, and traffic was nil. I went back after work and finally got served.

Work was a hoot today, with the US scratching their heads saying "What holiday?" It's not MY fault the firm doesn't publicize the Indian holidays. They really should though, since we work so closely with each other. The US firm also doesn't understand that here a holiday means business. Yes, I know I've had to work Easter, of all things, but don't expect that here. It just won't happen. And I for one am glad of that. Otherwise work was a half day and it was fine.

Tomorrow we do it all over again as it is Ganesh's birthday, so everyone celebrates by polluting local lakes and rivers. No, really. They all buy fake painted statues and bathe them in the river. And when they are done, they leave the statues in the lakes slash rivers. I'm very curious.

Tonight while I post we are bonding as a family watching the Roadrunner foil Wiley Coyote's plans. It's the first time the kids have seen Looney Tunes and they are LOVING it! Especially Dalton, who keeps squealing. Other recent kids shows we have found here include Rich E Rich, Baby Looney Tunes, Thomas the Train, and some show called Dragon Tails where two little kids can transport between our world and a Dragon world. Maggie loves that one.

As much as I am a huge Disney fan, I actually much prefer these old shows to the horror that is Fish Hooks, Fineas and Ferb, etc. I may sound old, but I don't care. They just don't make cartoons like they used to.

Lastly, a coworker gave me a book for my BD and I finally got around to reading it today waiting for my pedicures. It is called Five point someone and is a fun read and the author keeps it real. I may have to read more Indian books before I go home.

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